Doctors fear mute 'Piano Man' will never be identified

Now, four months later, the mute blond virtuoso remains in a psychiatric hospital in Dartford. His carerssaid yesterday that they believe that he may never be identified.

He was taken to the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham on 7 April and when staff gave him a pen and paper, he drew detailed pictures of a grand piano. When he was shown a piano in the hospital chapel, he played classical music "beautifully" for four hours.

Staff at the West Kent NHS Trust are still sifting through a list of more than 200 names provided during a welter of publicity about the case when it first became public in May.

Camera crews from Germany to Japan descended on bemused citizens of the Isle of Sheppey, where Piano Man was found, as news of the talented musician in a wet suit spread around the globe. But despite a number of promising leads, ranging from suggestions that Piano Man was a French street musician to a Czech concert pianist, nothing has come to light which has given the patient a nationality, let alone a name. A source at the West Kent trust said: "We have discounted a lot of the names and continue to look at those which remain. But there is no obvious lead - we haven't had someone bashing down the door saying, 'This is my son' or 'This is my brother'.

"Given the enormous amount of publicity about Piano Man we think it surprising that someone who knows him has not come forward.

"It is possible that his family lead an isolated existence and have not seen the stories but we have to prepare ourselves for the fact that we may never know who he is and that he may be with us for a long time."

The search for the identity of the slightly-built man is being conducted by the trust with the help of Scotland Yard and the National Missing Persons Helpline.

But in the absence of a definite claim from a family member, staff are having to rely on names provided by people identifying Piano Man as a school friend or acquaintance.

The team are also having to deal with calls from families claiming Piano Man as a long-disappeared relative. The source said: "We have had people saying he is a long-lost child or something on similar lines but sadly they are cases of hope rather than reality."

Psychiatrists do not know why the man, who continues to shrink from any stranger, has not spoken a word for four months. Diagnoses of his condition initially focused on post-traumatic stress disorder but it is now thought he may be an autistic savant. Sufferers of the condition can display extraordinary but highly specific talents, such as drawing or mathematics, while at the same time remaining withdrawn or uncommunicative to the point of remaining silent.

The removal of labels from clothing can also be associated with autism.

Officially the trust will not comment on the young man's treatment beyond saying that his physical health remains good. But it is understood he is showing increasing signs of rapport with a small number of trusted carers.

When Piano Man was found wandering in the dark beside the beach, he had not only cut the labels from the dark suit he was wearing but also rubbed any identifying marks from his shoes.

The sheer lack of any identifying signs along with Piano Man's inability to communicate has produced a succession of theories as to how he arrived on the Kent coast, from being a Norwegian sailor to a member of a visiting orchestra.

Staff at the Littlebrook Hospital are increasingly clinging on to the hope that Piano Man will himself give up his identity.

A spokesman said: "It may be that matters suddenly progress and the next thing we hear about Piano Man is that he has been returned to his family."

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
science
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

    Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game